The Emotional Abuse Project
The Project to explore emotional abuse in the classroom started life a couple of years ago (about 2010) as a result of many people commenting over many years about how profound their school experience had been. Not everyone has strong memories, but many do. Some have very strong positive experiences and say that their school days were the happiest days of their life. Others commented on how many times they had bad experiences with certain teachers. Some of the experiences recounted were just unacceptable in terms of teacher conduct. Fortunately, it was a minority of teachers providing memorable negative experiences. However, it seemed to be a majority of pupils and ex-pupils who had such experiences from a minority of teachers.
Exploring this phenomenon of negative experience led to surveying some existing research to find out more. It became clear that there has been some good research but much more needs to be done. The foundations were laid for a book which will, hopefully, stimulate further research and the collection of more data.
The project to explore workplace emotional abuse came about from recent pressures to increase te degree of workplace consultation. There have been observations by a small number of writers (including Darnton and Giacoletto, 1992) to the effect that in many developed enterprises, there has been a paradigm shift away from managers obtaining the respect of their team members simply becuse of their status as managers, towards managers obtaining respect by virtue of the added value they can contribute to team activities.
The best people to ask about the competence of teachers is those who are being taught; the best people to ask about the competence of managers, are those being managed. Surprisingly, it is not frequent in learning or workplace environments to find thecreation of safe environments so that those who know best, can express their views and experiences.
Emotional Abuse in the Classroom has been published as a first edition in September 2012. It does not present any primary research. It presents some self-evaluation tools for teachers and pupils to begin the collection of primary data. This can be done by people contributing their own written experiences, or via the survey tools on this website. The second edition will be informed by the data to be collected following the publication of the first edition.
Work has started on Emotional Abuse in the Workplace, and it is hoped a first edition will be published by late 2017.